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Strengthening the quality assurance of UK transnational education A joint consultation between The Quality Assurance Agency and The UK Higher Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening the quality assurance of UK transnational education A joint consultation between The Quality Assurance Agency and The UK Higher Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening the quality assurance of UK transnational education A joint consultation between The Quality Assurance Agency and The UK Higher Education International Unit

2 Definition of transnational education (TNE) TNE: definition used in consultation TNE is the provision of higher education for students based in a country other than the one in which the awarding institution is located. UK TNE provision includes: - overseas branches - overseas partnerships - overseas distance learning (may involve in-country support centre)

3 What is needed to strengthen the quality assurance of UK TNE? QAA and the Higher Education International Unit will consult the sector on what is needed to strengthen the quality assurance of TNE. The consultation will propose a significantly strengthened risk-based element to focus resource and attention where most needed. The consultation will propose possible models and mechanisms to demonstrate the commitment of individual UK TNE providers to: –high quality provision –protection of the UK sector’s high reputation. (International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity: page 46, paragraph 3.20)

4 Starting point: the current position Figure 1Overseas review activity 2009Audit of overseas provision India 2010Audit of overseas provision Malaysia 2011Audit of overseas provision Singapore 2012Review of UK TNE China OngoingReview of UK TNE, UAE (focus on Dubai) Review of UK TNE, Caribbean (focus on Trinidad & Tobago) /types-of- review/overseas Figure 2QAA’s international partners CDGDC China China Academic Degrees & Graduate Development Centre HKCAAVQ Hong Kong Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications CPE Singapore Council for Private Education KHDA Dubai, UAE Knowledge and Human Development Authority MQA Malaysia Malaysian Qualifications Agency NIAD-UE Japan National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation QQI Ireland Quality and Qualifications Ireland TEQSA Australia Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

5 Role of other QAA processes: an assessment Figure 3 (simplified) Objectives for TNE quality assurance Institutional review processes Concerns processes Provide public assurance on quality and standards partial Protect interests of TNE students partial Secure and enhance reputation of UK higher education partial Respond rapidly to identified concerns Promote enhancement of quality of TNE provision partial Monitor developments in TNE provision and maintain a record of activity n/a

6 Objectives and risk Risks associated with TNE provision 1.Quality and standards: TNE provision may not meet the expectations required of such provision in the UK 2.Reputational damage: poor standards and/or quality of one provider can reflect adversely on other UK providers Risks related to perception of TNE 3.Visibility of UK regulation 4.Misconceptions about UK systems Objectives for TNE quality assurance Provide public assurance on the quality and standards of UK TNE programmes Protect the interests of students studying on UK TNE programmes Secure and enhance the reputation of UK higher education qualifications offered in other countries Respond rapidly to issues that may put at risk the academic standards of UK TNE programmes Promote enhancement of the quality of UK TNE provision Monitor developments in TNE provision and maintain a record of UK activity for quality assurance planning purposes.

7 TNE building blocks Information base (page 10) Initial analysis of risk (page 12) Detailed analysis of risk (page 14) Review visits (page 17) Reviewers and review teams (page 18) Review outcomes (page 19) Review outputs (page 21) Links with institutional review processes (page 21) Resource implications (page 23) Funding principles (page 24)

8 Information base Figure 4Indicative minimum dataset For each UK institution Type of TNE activity (as categorised by HESA) Overseas branch of UK awarding institution Overseas partnership: students registered at UK institution Overseas partnership: students registered at partner organisation Distance learning (may involve in-country support centre) For each type of TNE activity TNE provider information Name (weblink) and location (town, country) Date of first student intake (to establish start date for TNE activity) For each TNE provider TNE programme information Programme name Award level (according to FHEQ levels 4-8) Award type (single, joint, double or multiple) Subject area (according to JACS: A, B, C, and so on) Student numbers (Note that programmes delivered by distance learning without the involvement of an in-country support centre would be grouped by country, and listed separately.)

9 Initial analysis of risk Figure 5 (extract): indicative risk parameters Parameters for risk outcomes associated with TNE provision Parameters for risk outcomes associated with quality assurance Information compiled by QAA from statistics, surveys and published reports Initial analysis (all UK TNE) Anl UK institution's experience of operating in relevant country UK institution's experience of providing TNE in other countries UK institution's quality assurance track record Duration of relationship with overseas partner or other link Student numbers on relevant TNE programmes Rate of growth in student numbers Interval since last QAA review visit in relevant country Interval since last QAA institutional review report on relevant institutions Extent of relevant QAA publication activity QAA's relationship with counterpart organisations in relevant country and any issues raised Deployment of Concerns procedure in relevant country

10 Prospective review programme Figure 6Planned activity Year 1Desk-based analysis of the latest worldwide survey of UK TNE, published reports and information from counterpart organisations Overseas review visit to a particular country or region, for example because of rapid increase in UK TNE provision there Thematic project, for example ‘new provision and due diligence’ may involve desk-based work and some UK/overseas visits) Year 2... etc Year 3... etc

11 TNE quality assurance process: part one Figure 7(part 1)Building blocks Review information base Apply risk parameters Plan and publish TNE review programme Detailed desk-based analysis of selected TNE provision

12 Detailed analysis of risk Figure 5 (continued): indicative risk parameters Parameters for risk outcomes associated with TNE provision Parameters for risk outcomes associated with quality assurance Information provided by institutions from extant documentation for analysis by review team Detailed analysis (selected TNE) Anl Complexity of regulation in country Frequency of institutional contact Effectiveness of institutional monitoring Adequacy of resourcing of provision Staffing model and staff training Proportion/level of delivery in UK UK institution's involvement in admissions, delivery and assessment English language requirements/support Student performance data Student satisfaction data Accreditation or recognition by overseas quality assurance agencies Accreditation or recognition by either UK or global accreditation bodies (Note that QAA may also have access to relevant reports through its information- sharing agreements.)

13 TNE quality assurance process: part two Figure 7 (part 2) Building blocks Information from institutions Further risk parameters Review visits: UK or overseas Reviewers and review teams Review outcomes Review outputs Links with institutional review processes 1Risks: academic standards and quality; reputational damage; visibility of UK regulation; misconceptions about UK systems. 2Review outputs: individual review reports; case studies; update on previous country review; overview report; annual report.

14 Building block options Full spectrum of review visits? – none; UK; overseas; both Right balance in review teams? –specialist expertise; student reviewer; international reviewer Involvement of overseas agencies? Review outcomes? –judgements and badge Review outputs? –range of reports Perfect

15 Review outputs Range of reports –individual review reports –case studies –update on previous review –country overview report ‘The only example of data gathering of overseas provision collected in a systematic way was found to be the country reviews conducted by the UK’s QAA.’ ‘The UK’s QAA approach to auditing the exports of UK providers is a good practice.’ Delivering Education Across Borders in the European Union (European Commission: July 2013) + TNE annual report

16 Links with institutional review processes Figure 8: Higher Education Review HER is the review method for universities and colleges in England and Northern Ireland. The review team has discretion over how many and which overseas links it looks at. The TNE proposals allow HER and the TNE process to complement one another better. Improved information and desk-based analysis of risk should provide helpful pointers to HER review teams in their sampling of TNE provision. The TNE process, by taking on primary responsibility for looking at the overseas aspects of TNE provision, would allow HER review teams to focus effort on aspects which can be looked at in the UK. Examples include top-up degrees and advanced entry to programmes in the UK. In turn, HER should generate evidence to inform the review programme for TNE.

17 Resources and funding Information base: extra input from institutions in early stages Risk-base element:extra analysis and interpretation by QAA Student reviewers:training costs and larger review team International reviewers:training costs Branch campuses:extra cost of institutional reviews Figure 9: funding mechanism – possible factors to be considered Scale of provision One option would be to adjust the banding for QAA subscriptions to include TNE students as well as UK-based students. Country banding The cost of quality assuring TNE provision varies to some extent depending on the location of the provision. Provision type banding Quality assuring some types of provision may be inherently more costly than others.

18 Responding to the consultation Consultation is available at: Single institutional or organisational response from nominated respondent Individual responses welcomed, but must be marked as individual Questions compulsory with comments optional - word limits apply Questions must be completed online in one sitting! –we recommend you to prepare comments offline, then copy them into the boxes when you are ready to complete the whole survey Consultation closes on 10 March 2014 QAA publishes overview of the planned TNE process by 31 May 2014

19 Strengthening the quality assurance of UK TNE Please study the consultation document and let us know your views Registered charity numbers and SC037786


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